Sweet Relief

November 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm 1 comment

Hat tip to Dolittler for this excellent video on the use of honey to treat wounds from the Ontario Veterinary College

Honey has been used as a topical wound dressing for thousands of years. It helps control infections and helps create a healthy surface for healing.  Despite this, it is not commonly used as a wound dressing in human or veterinary medicine. According to a study published by Ontario Veterinary College, Honey’s beneficial properties include reducing inflammatory edema, accelerated sloughing of dead tissue, stimulation of macrophage migration, providing a high-quality cellular energy source and maintaining a moist wound environment. Some of these effects occur because honey contains glucose-oxidase enzymes. These enzymes constantly form hydrogen peroxide from the sugar in the honey. Peroxide acts more effectively on wounds in the smaller concentrated doses provided by medicinal honey than it does when applied in the common liquid form because it is constantly being renewed. And, unlike liquid hydrogen peroxide, the peroxide produced by the enzymes in honey doesn’t damage living skin cells.

The glucose-oxidase enzymes are destroyed in pasteurized honey (like the honey you typically buy in a store.) Common unpasteurized honeys may contain harmful bacteria. Honeys derived from unique floral sources in Australia and New Zealand (Leptospermum spp) have enhanced antibacterial activity, and these honeys have been approved to be marketed as therapeutic honeys (Medihoney and Active Manuka honey).


Entry filed under: health, pets, science.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Manuka Honey  |  November 20, 2008 at 3:17 am

    There is no better substance on the face of the planet for treating wounds than Manuka Honey. It is gaining worldwide recognition as a natural healing and is now being used as a main ingredient in some wound care products.


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